Eagle Lake | Teen Ink

Eagle Lake

December 6, 2015
By Emma.H.96 DIAMOND, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Emma.H.96 DIAMOND, Kalamazoo, Michigan
65 articles 0 photos 67 comments

Favorite Quote:
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. -Anne Lamott, from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

On days when the sun is low in the sky and the air is crisp with autumn's chill, I take a drive to Eagle Lake. I cannot give you directions because I only know how to get there when I'm already here and when I leave the memory is destroyed. When I arrive I am welcomed with a glisten of Mediterranean blue peaking through tall, thin, trees whose only leaves grow at the very top. My car pulls up to the public parking area, the only place I am allowed to go but the small view does not satisfy me. So, I complete the circle drive and turn right into gravel that is clearly marked "PRIVATE PROPERTY." The gravel soon turns to the finest paved road I have ever seen in Michigan. To my left, the homes are more private, tucking themselves back into the shelter of thin, tall, trees. White piping and carriage doors coat these homes in farmhouse warmth, but these homes are not what I come to see. My affections are for the homes lining the shore; large, architecturally interesting, homes, draped in colors of teal, cream, gold, and gray-royalty. Each is adorned with a glass balcony, picture windows, three car garages, tens of rooms, basketball courts, cobblestone walkways, and mailboxes that match the house décor. I drive slowly, wanting to relish in the warm sun floating on the lakes horizon. I invade the privacy of their private drive, hoping I am not disrupting them. Another driver is heading towards me, I try to act aloof and do not make eye contact as to not anger him but all the while he smiles and gives me a tip of his head; a stranger who comes to see his private world. I continue on my way, more modest homes looking achievable to my college debt, twenty dollar filled wallet. A family on their bikes approaches; they raise their hands and wave twice as if they rehearsed the act. I wave back hesitantly. Does no one here realize I don't belong in this place? I drive farther, trying to decide which road to exit on. My entire drive I practice my speech as to why I am on this tiny, private road and each time when no resident, no child, no police officer stops to ask me why I am here, I leave with water in the corners of my hazel eyes. The truth is, I don't know how I found Eagle Lake, my mother and I ended here when I was showing her where I drive on my lazy days, and I recognized the place but I don't think I had ever been here before. It is the most beautiful place I've ever been, not only for the houses and the lake, but because it gives me hope that one day when I arrive home, it will be at the old, white, lighthouse turned home in the middle of Eagle Lake. My handful of children will crawl out o my backseat and run in the house together. My husband will smile, embrace me, and kiss me firmly on the cheek. When we grow older, we will sit on the back porch and hide under blankets as the sun wears away. When my grandchildren are young, they'll come visit their grandma and grandpa at their lighthouse and make 'smores outside. I will walk outside to get my mail and wave hello to Carla and Ted who live two doors down with their three Dalmatians. Somehow it gives me hope to know one day I may be a part of this reality. For now though, I just drive through the one lane street, staring at the houses on the shore, hoping that one day the people who live there will recognize their new neighbor as the dreamy eyed, broke, college girl who used to drive her car around Eagle Lake when she was younger. 

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